Staff, New Haven Independent, Sept. 30, 2022
New Haveners will have a chance to share their memories of the late Black Panther and social justice advocate George Edwards at an event set for Saturday, Oct. 29.
Edwards, possibly the most spied-on and messed-with activist in town and omnipresence at public events, died Sept. 16 at the age of 85. (Read a full story about his life at www.newhavenindependent.org/article/panther_passes_on)
The state tried to frame George Edwards and lock him up for life. His fellow revolutionaries tortured him and tried to kill him. They didn’t know whom they were messing with. He survived — and kept at his Black Panther mission for another half century long after generations of fellow fighters left the theater.
It was kidney cancer that finally claimed the life of George Edwards. Until his final months, he remained one of New Haven’s most visible and engaging voices, challenging power and supporting grassroots social justice crusades.
The memorial event in his honor will take place at the Q House, 197 Dixwell Ave from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. His daughter Elizabeth Dickerson asks anyone wishing to speak at the event to contact her in advance at liz_dickerson@ sbcglobal.net. Attendees are also encouraged to bring gently used clothing to the event to be distributed to the needy.
A GoFundMe drive at www.gofundme.com/f/a-panther-passes-on?qid=7a85d1598883d37c6f39445c1186572c has been established to help pay for funeral costs. Some money will also go toward placing Edwards’ name on a brick at the Q House.
[George Edwards was an extraordinary and compassionate activist. Many, if not most, of PAR’s readers, worked with him on justice and community issues in New Haven. In almost six decades, we have no doubt he touched the lives of tens of thousands of New Haven residents, activists and Yale students. “The students are here for only four years and then they go all over the world. I’m going to train them
to be activists while I have this chance.” George was a mentor to many and held steadfast to the principles of the original Black Panthers. In addition to his work in the Black Panther Party, he played a core role in New Haven’s struggle against apartheid in South Africa, organized many annual May Day celebrations on the New Haven Green, spoke out and organized against police brutality, was a
supporter of Palestinian rights, demonstrated against the various wars, bombings and invasions the U.S. carried out — Panama, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, etc., demanded the release of Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal and all other U.S. political prisoners, had a weekly show on CTV where he introduced viewers to activism, history and the current events of the day and taught them how to analyze, protested against nuclear power, was an AIDS-prevention activist and worked at the New Haven Needle Ex-change Project, and when the pandemic began, he gave out masks, condoms, water bottles and gloves to people from his front porch. In addition to the New Haven Independent, George has been featured in the New Haven Register many times through the years and the New York Times. This is a brief description of the work George did and the causes he took on.]